September 25, 2006
Some Alabama State Parks are contending with Black Turpentine
Beetle and Ips Engraver Beetle infestations due to drought
conditions that weakened susceptible pine trees. The Alabama
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources State Parks
Division responded quickly by selectively spraying trees to protect
the natural resources and to protect the recreational atmosphere in
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Commissioner Barnett Lawley said, “Our state parks provide visitors
with an abundance of natural resources and recreational activities.
We cannot afford to take this problem lightly. We will do everything
feasible to alleviate the problem safely, effectively and quickly.”
Black Turpentine Beetles and Ips Engraver Beetles are among five
species, commonly known as Pine Bark Beetles, present in Alabama
pine forests. Black Turpentine and Ips beetles typically infest pine
trees stressed by injury such as lightning, or by environmental
conditions such as a drought. Pine Bark Beetles do more damage to
southern pine timber than any other type of insect by boring through
the outer bark and feeding within the soft inner bark of pine trees.
Each species of beetle attacks a specific part of the pine tree. Ips
Engraver Beetles typically attack higher up the tree while Black
Turpentine Beetles attack the lower portion of the trunk.
Isolated, effected trees will be treated with Onyx™, an
insecticide recommended by the Alabama Forestry Commission. It
contains an active ingredient that is highly effective in battling
beetle infestations. In addition, recent rains and approaching
winter cold should help curtail the beetle infestation. The two
parks currently designated for selective spraying of beetle spots
are Lake Guntersville State Park in Guntersville and Lakepoint
Resort State Park in Eufaula. Hours of operation at both parks will
not be effected.